Sunday, March 26, 2017

Colossians 2:22

Paul wants them to remember that these regulations and decrees all pertain to those things which are perishing. The Greek phrase eis pithoran literally means unto corruption.[1] It is speaking of that which short-lived or transient. An example of this kind of teaching Paul uses in his first letter to the Corinthian believers, where he speaks in concern to food (1 Cor. 6:12ff.) As we use (or used up – Greek apochresis) they are used until they are unfit for further use, we might say misused. They will disappear. These are all according to, or passed down (Greek kata) by the precepts or commands and the didaskalia (teaching or doctrine) of anthropos, or a human being. In other words, they are strictly the philosophy that was empty and deceitful that Paul had spoken about.[2] The false teachers were striving to put the Colossian believers under rituals and false teaching that they had put together.

Behind this phrase was what the prophet Isaiah had spoken in 29:13 (ASV) – “And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw nigh unto me, and with their mouth and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment of men which hath been taught them.” Jesus quoted this in Mark 7:6 – 7 where He asserted that the scribes of his day had made the word of God of no value. These teachings of taboos were frustrating the pure teaching of God with its emancipating emphasis.[3]

Prayer: As I meditate on this verse today, how much do I pay attention to the perishing things of life, and not the eternal parts? Am I concentrating on that things that pass away? Do I think continually on the temporary? May I focus on the eternal, on the things that really matter in the light of eternity. I seek You and You alone. Amen.

[1] W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Page 468. 
[2] See further Col. 2:8, and the Bible Difficulty explanation on this verse. 
[3] Consider Paul’s teaching in Gal. 3:23 – 4:7.

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